Actress Rani Mukerji, who is making a comeback with Hichki, talks about motherhood, her early days in the film industry and her role models.
In a few weeks time, actress Rani Mukerji will be back on the silver screen post-motherhood with Hichki. In a free-wheeling conversation, the actress shares some early memories of the film industry and all that’s dear and important in her life right now. Ask her if the release of Hichki close to her birthday planned? “It’s not intentional at all. This film will be very special for me. Usually, we go abroad to celebrate my birthday every year, but this year, we will be busy promoting my film here,” shares Rani.
Explaining why she took a break from movies for motherhood, Rani says, “Adira being a premature baby, I had a different kind of fear and anxiety which kept bothering me always. I immersed myself in looking after her and had no plans to do a film at this point in time. But my husband noticed my over-involvement with Adira and advised me to start working again. My day starts and ends with Adira.”
The actress recalls her struggles and experiences on joining the industry without any godfather. “Being in the film industry was a learning process. All experiences, good and bad, teach you something. These experiences enhanced my acting calibre and helped build the artist in me,” says Rani.
Talking about how she landed her first film, Rani reminisces, “In those days, Salim uncle, who was a distributor and a friend of my dad, felt I could act. As did my mom. So, I did have a bit of beginner’s luck. However, until the audiences accept you, you cannot continue in this industry. My debut film, Raja Ki Aayegi Baraat was liked by one and all, including the directors/producers. From then on, the offers just started pouring in.” Interestingly, the actress points out that her voice and height were initially considered her shortcomings. “Initially, Vikram Bhatt, Aamir Khan, and Mahesh Bhatt felt that my voice was not well-suited for the screen and they wanted to dub my voice for Ghulam. But Karan Johar, decided to use my natural voice for Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. I am thankful that he had so much confidence and belief in me and my voice!” Given that she calls the shots at Yash Raj Films, is she open to working with outside production houses too? “If producers and directors offer me good scripts, I will surely work with them,” says the actress, who ranks her mother as the woman of substance in her life. “I always look up to her. All Bengali women are mentally very strong and have this fighting quality in them. This quality comes in handy, especially when you have children!” says Rani, as she signs off.